26 May 2020 Daily Digest of COVID-19 News and Analysis

TRUMP’S EPA WANTS TO WEAKEN SCIENCE-BASED RULES FOR TOXIC AIR POLLUTANTS (24 MAY 2020)

Truthout: Ethylene oxide is a particularly dangerous chemical that’s both extremely flammable and potentially highly toxic to humans. Just a brief exposure to enough ethylene oxide gas can trigger vomiting and diarrhea, and respiratory problems that can damage the lungs. Long-term exposures to the chemical have been linked to cancers, reproductive problems, irreversible and heritable genetic changes, and neurotoxicity.

WE CAN’T POLICE OUR WAY OUT OF THE PANDEMIC #4 (23 MAY 2020)

YouTube: An ongoing dialogue space to advance ideas about the abolition of police and prisons, to address concerns about the ramp up of authoritarianism, increased surveillance and privacy violations, updates on enforcement responses to COVID-19, to address concerns on the ground, share work being done to help strategize for action, and to put into question public health collaborations with police.

‘BUSINESS AS USUAL’ FOR AGROCHEMICAL INDUSTRY DAMAGING TO BIODIVERSITY, FARMERS (22 MAY 2020)

Pan Asia Pacific: Penang, Malaysia— As the world celebrates International Biodiversity Day, PAN Asia Pacific said that it should not be “business as usual” for agrochemical transnational corporations (TNCs), which are using the COVID-19 pandemic to aggressively promote highly hazardous pesticides and genetically-modified crops, which may result to further biodiversity loss and damage to farmers’ health and livelihoods.

WWF: RAINFOREST DEFORESTATION MORE THAN DOUBLED UNDER COVER OF CORONAVIRUS (21 MAY 2020)

DW: As the COVID-19 virus was spreading around the world, deforestation in the world’s rainforests rose at an alarming rate, the German arm of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said in a study published on Thursday.

US IS USING PANDEMIC AS AN EXCUSE TO SEND ASYLUM SEEKERS BACK INTO HARM’S WAY (19 MAY 2020)

Truthout: Fernanda* doesn’t know what to do. She fled Honduras with her husband and their toddler last year after death threats from gang members she says work with police officers in the family’s neighborhood to extort local businesses and workers. They made it more than 1,500 miles north, hoping to seek asylum in the United States, where Fernanda’s husband has an uncle who could provide them housing and support.

BIOLOGICAL POLICE STATE PREPARATIONS ADVANCE (18 MAY 2020)

CounterVortex: As strongmen around the world exploit the COVID-19 pandemic to grab extraordinary powers, even democratic countries are putting unprecedented police-state measure into place in the supposed interest of a return to “normality.” In the latter category is New Zealand, where a bill has been passed giving police sweeping powers to enter homes without warrants while enforcing new “Alert Level 2” rules. The COVID-19 Public Health Response Act creates a new corps of “enforcement officers” to track social contacts among the populace and conduct raids on the premises of suspected violators.

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